tv Deadline White House MSNBC March 3, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
nbc is also reporting while kushner and his business dealings have been a focus of the investigation, this line of questioning -- directly links action that he took after the election to his conduct at a senior adviser in the white house. kushner's attorney responded saying, quote, time and time again, unnamed sources seeking only mischief have misled the media about what the special counsel is doing. but it's been a precipitous fall from grace for the jared faction of trump's west wing. the "washington post" painting a particularly vivid picture with this reporting. they were the a senn dant young couples of the trump white house. jared kushner and ivanka trump and rob porter and hope hicks. they enjoyed rarefied access to the president and special privileges in the west wing. glamorous and well-connected, they had an air of power and invincibility. they even double dated once. an unlikely cascade of events
set in motion by paparazzi photos of porter and hicks published february 1st in a british tabloid crashed down this week that many inside and outside the white house say could mark the fall of the house of kushner. all this chaos and the hours of executive time to soak it all in making for a very grumpy donald trump. nbc news is also reporting this afternoon that donald trump was angry and unglued when he started yesterday's trade war. from that nbc scoop, quote, a trifecta of events set him off in a way that two officials said they've not seen before. hope hicks' testimony investigating russia's interference in the 2016 election, conduct by his embattled attorney general and the treatment of his son-in-law by his own chief of staff. to help us understand a moment that people in and out of white house will concede is perhaps the most peril -- unstable one yet, our favorite reporters and
friends. peter alexander at the white house with a by line about the angry and unglued president. from the "washington post," ashley parker, the author of what with reads like camelot in -- and at the table, former cia operative, etch an mcmullen who ran for president in 2016 as an independent candidate. former federal prosecutor paul butler an msnbc legal analyst. national affairs analyst and lydia -- editor in chief of -- >> let me start with you peter alexander and afternoon scoop about what led to yesterday's declaration of a trade war. had a lot more to do with presidential peak. >> as i speak to you, nicole, there are serious winds blowing here across the north lawn of the white house. it feels like this is a great metaphor for what it must be inside the west wing over the course of the last several days. no better example than this one
we're reporting. the winds pick up yet again here. the bottom line is that president was angry and unglued as described by an official inside here at the white house. the president was so frustrated not about anything particularly related to trade but related to all these other topics. that he effectively went off on this issue of trade as supported by two of his aides. wilbur ross and one of his trade aides. going against the advice of steve mnuchin and his national economic lead adviser, gary kohne here. without having completed a legal review at the white house legal counsel's office, without communications strategy, effectively went forward and said to the world that he was going to be imposing a 25% tariff on steel, a 10% on i am propertied aluminum. we've witnessed the impact it's
had on the markets here, but what's most striking is what this says about the president and the way he leads, which is when he's got something on his mind, he just spits it out. not considering or perhaps considering in his own way the impact it may have. in this case, the impact was significant and it was global. nicole? >> ashley parker, your piece one of the most remarkable pieces of journalism in the time of trump, these two couples with the world in the palm of their hands, it has come crashing down. talk about not just kushner's fall from grace but all of the collateral damage. >> sure. what was so striking about how this started and how we told this story, is that it all actually started with a tabloid photo of hope hicks and rob porter stepping out on the town. two glamorous young people dating. that was it. it was sort of the butterfly
that flapped its wings. if you look at the four people in that couple who once double dated. rob porter no longer works in the white house because he's been accused of domestic violence by two of his ex-wives and his departure from the white house led to in many ways the trade mess we saw this week. hope hicks testified before the house intel committee yesterday or wednesday and then alsoly re. she'll no longer be in the white house. jared kushner, a number of stories detailing this. as the person who felt the most of that fallout. he is under investigation, your story says, by mueller's people for some of his foreign contacts. we've reported that foreign governments we're talking about how they could manipulate him and "the new york times" reported that he had meetings with companies at the white house that then gave loans to his family. he's described to us as a shelf
himself. i guess you could say ivanka trump, someone who likes to control everything, everything is spiraling out of control, but she personally within this framework is faring somewhat okay. things are not going well for this white house and if you look at that, things are not going well for them. >> you were both at a gaggle, an informal conversation with a few journalists, right, today with chief of staff john kelly. it is so stunning that he is newlymboldened by having the effect that ashley detailed on the kushner wing of that white house. that the tension was at a breaking point and kelly's critics will maintain and i heard from several today that even the story he told all of you today about the handling of rob porter's security clearances is still not factually accurate. yet, he appears to be the victor in this standoff.
>> what struck me and i'm curious for ashley's take on this, it's not clear to me why they were holding an off the record briefing with john kelly and then we were allowed to share some details of that conversation specifically as it related to the rob porter mess. you have think about how chaotic this week was and now we reignited the conversation about rob porter based on some of these comment by john kell, where among other things, he acknowledged that the team could have been a better job. they were not covered in glory in how they hamd the situation. it was confusing. the take away as it related to rob porter, after he first learned about accusations about rob porter, initially that they were only allegations of verbal abuse, no physical abuse, that rob porter was gone. that he was -- that he had resigned. effectively, what john kelly said was when it went from being
something that was physical abuse, he immediately said this is done. you are resigning. but that timeline doesn't match up with what the dailey mail initially broke the story. they say the white house was alerted out of the gates that the allegation wasn't just a verbal abuse by one of porter's ex-wives but also of physical abuse, including one scene where jennifer willow by, one of the ex-wives says porter yanked her, physically out of the shower in one of the fights the two had. in an effort to in some ways put the story to bed, they have only revisited some of the questions that made it so hard to believe in the first place. >> ashley, i am wondering, i want to read you something else that you guys reported today about the president reiterating his long-standing concerns. he was angry that kushner, by extension, his daughter being dishonestly a maligned.
he said everything would be better if necessity gave up their government jobs and returned to new york. i know there's a theory that some folks in the white house feel newly emboldened to speed up the process if you will and i wonder if there's any sense that the president has green lita litany any of this or it's happening without his knowledge and if it's happening at all. >> in terms of the tensions between jared and ivanka and general kelly, the president is doing no one any favors. our understanding is, he will talk to general kelly and he will say what you recounted, which is that i don't understand what they're doing here. their coverage is horrible. he takes all of that very personally and he says i think they should go back to new york. they would be safer there and there wouldn't be this negative coverage. then when he speaks to his daughter and sorn-in-law, he sas you have to stay here. i don't know what i'd do without you here. you have groups feuding getting diametrically opposite messages from this president.
>> one thing there is not a lot of dispute about john howell man, in losing hicks, he's losing a limb. his affection for hope and see him unhinged as we've seen him. maybe since he lost wisconsin. i don't remember a period in sort of the trump era where he's been more off the rails than in the last five days. something is clearly got him rattled. i don't know if it's the combination of the mueller probe, the destabilized nature of jared and ivanka's presence in the white house or -- and i heard this today, that john kelly is too heavy handed with him. >> i think it's all of them. i think that this is not one of those things where you can point to a single factor. if you think of what's happening the last couple of weeks, you can't ignore the fact that the mueller probe is in a weird simultaneous way that the net is widening and tightening at the same time. you see the pleas, you see the
indictments, you see the stock market falling. it's been 23 days. >> after the trade war was declared. >> it's been 23 days since trump tweeted about the stock market. after tweeting about it almost daily for months. as the stock market went up. we can make the point that presidents shouldn't be tweeting about the shock market because you find yourself in the situation. he's got nothing to hold on to. the limbs, in your metaphor, are being sawed off one by one. the few good pribright spot hav gotten darker and turned for the negative. he's a very emotionally driven person. he's obviously volatile. when he is in trouble, he looks for something to grab on to. right now, there's nothing. it's just he's losing his mind. >> i'm sorry. go ahead. >> i was going to say, i think that's why we ended up with this
bizarre tariffs announcement. he wanted something he could do unilaterally that would win him love from somebody. from his base. it didn't win him any love from the orthodox republicans. >> right. attacked by rob portman, john mccain. >> it could push gary cone out of the white house. >> he threatens to leave every 90 days. >> not to be overlooked. something that he got applause for routinely on the campaign trail. one of the bright -- the most important thing in his mind always. how did i win the white house? i won the crowds, the enthuse ya yachl. he used to get waves of applause for promising this very thing because it's easy and cheap to do it in front of voters in economically depressed parts of the country. it ignores the rest of the world and the stock market and everybody else. you can see him try to reach back into the bag of campaign tricks. that's fallen short, too. another reason for his desperation. >> and it is undeniable that
jared kushner, whether through true developments in the mueller investigation, through the reality of having had his security clearance stripped and perhaps through his lawyers are asserting these are leaks, i've heard that from a couple of folks, aligned with him, that these are sanctioned leaks coming from inside the white house. he is weakened to a point of his tenure at the white house being almost unsustainable. >> absolutely. before this leak, it's been like special counsel mueller has been going after people in trump world like they're an organized crime family. this week he appears to think that they are an illegal cartel, racketeering, wheeling and dealing on behalf of foreign governments, on behalf of their own individual business interests, on behalf of everybody other than the united states of america who has government employees they've sworn allegiance to. one reason trump needs to be
kerpd is not only about his son-in-law, his son, possibly his daughter, but himself as well. the other thing that happened this week, we learned that mueller is asking questions about what trump knew about the dnc getting e-mail being leaked by the russians. if he was involved at all in that and coordinating when they would be released, who they would go to, trump is going down. >> look, i got to say this. his security blanket. i do not see them going anywhere. i don't see the president letting them or wanting them ultimately to go away. imagine a white house with this net widening as john said and constricting at the same time. all these other things going wrong and not having jared and ivanka there. i can't imagine it. from their perspective as paul mentioned, they're now being caught up in this investigation more so than we knew before.
but not a surprise. i don't see them being willing to distance themselves, go back up to new york, give up their offices in the wihite house whee there's an appearance of protection there. >> decorum. >> and be exposed like anybody else out there while the investigations are ongoing. i don't see it. >> let me give you the last word, peter. i noticed that it was earlier than usual and angrier than usual. >> you know, from my perspective, what struck me was a variety of things. one, the fact that he was suggesting at that trade wars were good and easy to win. that was obviously in the face of everything said by all leading republicans, the house speaker and others. but also the fact that in the middle of all thrks the president is randomly twooeting about alec baldwin making his complaints about snl when baldwin said it was agonizing to
play the role of donald trump. alec baldwin whose dying mediocre career. he spelled dying wrong. he corrected it later. someone else with access to said account fixed. >> we've been paying attention to this for a while. there are small moments where you see a window of sense here where the president holds off, he's disciplined ahead of the tax reform. he started the final days to be on message that the one win they keep wrapping their hands around whenever they can. at moments like this, the president is obviously all over the map. in this case, everything from trade wars to "saturday night live." ashley, let me give you the last word based on this line. don't worry, it will get worse. it always does. >> so to jump off of that, right before i came on, i was talking to someone inside the west wing who was saying that the president is spending at least one night at mar-a-lago this weekend, which is exactly what
no one wants to happen. because they think exactly what you read. it will get worse there. we'll be watching. peter alexander and ashley parker. remarkable weeks. i don't know that you can keep track of all that you've brought us this week from behind that building you're standing in front of. when we come back, we're joined by former cia director john brennan on the freight train that is the mueller investigation into russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. something he knows a good deal about. stay with us. for 100 years, heritage and innovation have made gillette the #1 shave in america. now get gillette quality at lower prices - every day. brought to you by more than a thousand workers in boston. we're proud of giving you our best. gillette - the best a man can get.
by the time i left office on january 20th, i had unresolved questions in my mind as to whether or not the russians had been successful in getting u.s. persons involved in the campaign or not to work on their behalf, again, either in a witting or unwitting fashion. it's in ten months since the startling comments from former cia director john brennan. in that time, we learned a staggering amount about the scope and nature of previously undisclosed contacts between members of trump's orbit and officials. after 13 russian nationals were indicted in election meddling, it was undeniable that some in the trump camp unwittingly aided russians. serious concerns remain that people close to trump may have knowingly advanced russian interests in the course of the campaign or the transition. here onset with us, john brennan, former director of the cia, now an nbc news and msnbc national security analyst. thank you for being here. it's a privilege to have you
here. we were on the phone the day of the 13 indictments. and the reason, i guess, the president's national security adviser general mcmaster calls it incontrovertable evidence, as though you needed more, the indictments name three unwitting people in the trump campaign, you've testified to people who may have wittingly aided the russians. do you have any theories based on what you're seeing coming out of the mueller probe who they might be? >> no. and my comments to questioning congress, i said that wittingly or unwittingly. that's why they continue to do the work to try to determine whether or not individuals were actively working and knowingly working to advance russian interests. individuals are doing that, they obviously were doing it in violation of u.s. law. of all types of american ethics and values. this is something that i think the american people deserve to know about and hopefully coming
out from bob mueller in the department of justice soon. >> at least a threat of questioning is -- bob mueller does want to understand better jared kushner's contacts with among other countries the russians. do you, based on the public reporting, think that it is a legitimate line of questioning to want to understand if jared kushner's campaign activities either wittingly or unwittingly aided the russian efforts. >> absolutely. jared kushner is close to donald trump, someone who had the confidence of mr. trump and i think the russians are very, very clever in terms of how they exploit relationships. the russians services are very good, cunning. they will look for individuals who they're going to be able to exploit. as i said, sometimes the individuals don't know that they are being manipulated and exploited by russian intelligence. i think mueller and his -- what is behind the meetings and engagements and discussions and
how then the russians or others might be trying to use it to their advantage. >> so one meeting we know went downment jared kushner was in that meeting, as was the president's son, don joir. was in trump tower met with russians to get dirt on hillary clinton. that seems to have crossed the transom from unwitting to witting cooperations, isn't it? >> in terms of individuals, don trump jr. was excited about it -- it's hard to disavow something like that on his part. i don't know what's behind curtain. i know that this investigative team is among the very best investigators and i think what was happening now in terms of the indictments that are coming out, this last indictment of the 13 russian citizens, not a single mention of those -- it was appropriate there. i won't be surprised to see future indictments of russian
officials implicate north dakota the interference in the election. he was -- when the chinese people's liberation army were indicted for cyber hacking. this is now coming to fruition, the investigation and we'll see what are the other shoes to drop. i'm confident that bob mueller's team will get to the bottom of it. >> would you be surprised if one of the shoes will be the involvement of him having run the technology side of the trump campaign. >> i wouldn't be surprised of individuals ipt matly involved in the cam page and close to donald trump were being targeted by the russians and might have fallen prey to those efforts and whether or not they were actively abetting the russian efforts or not is something that i think hopefully mueller's team will find out. >> i want to show you something admiral rogers, the head of nsa testified to this week on capitol hill. >> my concern is i believe that
president putin has clearly come to the conclusion, there's little price to play here. >> bingo. >> literally, what we've done hasn't been enough. >> one of your predecessors, my former colleague from the bush years, quoted as saying he's very concerned that as extensive as the 2016 operation was, it maven been a probing attack testing for american weaknesses and seeing how much they could get away with. he believes what's coming could be worse, much, much worse. one, do you share that concern and two, what explanation exists for everything about that testimony from admiral rogers who was just the body language alone, screamed defeat and whose words made abundantly clear that he's not been directed by the president of the united states to respond to the russian cyber attack? >> i do think all americans should be concerned and worried and donald trump should be concerned and worried about the russians are going to do in the 2018 and 2020 elections. i think what admiral rogers w
was -- his deep, deep concern that we're not doing enough. the russians are clever, cunning, capable. going to try to hide their tracks. it's not just the russians. it could be others thinking about how they're going to interfere in the elections. i'm hoping that there are some senior level meetings taking place. from some accounts, there's not been the type of national security discussions with the president actively involved in this determining what we should do to better safeguard our electoral systems, to be able to make sure that the russians understand if they do something, they are going to pay a price. but i think as mike said, there's little reason, i think on the part of the kremlin to believe that they will. when we were in the obama administration, we took action throughout offices to close down residences. we knew the window was closing rapidly. it will be up to the trump administration to pick up that baton and really take the hammer to the russians and let them
know, this is unacceptable. so we have to improve our defenses, we have to enhance the security and the technology that we have available shall the federal government has to work with the state government, but a clear message has to be september to the russians that no more, you cannot do this and get away with it without paying a price. >> testified weeks before rogers did that the president never directed him to do anything that you just described. if we have a president who doesn't reade the pdd based on news accounts and intel briefing doesn't include any oral briefing about russia's role, how do we achieve anything we detailed to protect ourselves from russian meddling? >> i don't know. i worked with the last three presidents. clinton, bush and -- president bush got down into the details of issues and president obama and clinton did. there's no substitute for understanding the complexity of these challenges and to be the one making informed decisions and if those meetings are not taking place, if donald trump is
not reading the materials that's put forward to him, i have deep and grave concerns about not just the cyber issue but issues related to north korea, terrorism, other types of things. i am -- one part of me is angry, because i think there are things that should be done. deep, deep worry and concern for this country's national security. >> one place where they could do something is congress. they could demand oversight hearings about the security clearances. there are a bunch of people walking around the west wing -- it's not a low bar but it's a pretty narrow bar. the fbi checks every candidate for white house service not to decide if they will be a good communications director but determine if they're a tarlgt for blackmail. in the dni, in the bush years put together the distribution list. did you hear concern within the intelligence community about who
was looking at that? >> well, it was a very short list. it was one that was carefully watched, looked at. everybody who had access to the pdb had top secret sci clearances to have access to the information to do their jobs. having individuals for such a long period of time with the interim clearances with real questions in terms of the background investigations and the vetting and i think john kelly now is really taking this very, very seriously and taking actions is appropriate. i'm sure donald trump is not happy with some of this. there cannot be carelessness which borders on recklessness in terms of our national security and classified information. our fate and our future depends on a seriousness of purpose and an adult-like approach to these issues. unfortunately, i think there have been indications that hasn't happened all the time. >> until monday, jared kushner who didn't have a permanent
security clearance was looking at the pdb based on reporting that the white house never disputed. does that give you any pause based on the reporting that he's in the crosshairs of the the mueller probe and general mcmaster was alarmed when he heard the kinds of conversations he had been having one-on-one with countries like china and the united arab emirates. >> yes. many people in the trump administration at the senior levels of the white house who have no experience in government before, had no experience with classified information before. i think they have an inexperience and naivete in terms of how they're supposed to handle the information and how they have to be on guard for efforts to take advantage of their knowledge. i don't know what briefings or trainings have been available to them. but i am concerned by these reports that individuals have not gone through all of those obstacles and gotten all the
issues related to questions of the security clearances. still have access to the most precious, sensitive, important piece of intelligence that is delivered six days a week to the president and the senior officials of the government. we should not just make that available to anyone and particularly just because they may be related to the president. >> son-in-law. let me ask you the last question. something i asked general hayden. when you spies or whatever you call yourselves, intelligence community veterans sit around a watering hole and talk about what wakes you up at night, what is it? >> i think it's the political environment in washington right now. i am really concerned that the depth of the partisan rancor and animus in washington is like i've never seen before. it is preventing us from dealing with a lot of the domestic issues, whether it be gun control or issues related to our economy. also, though, it inhibits the ability to take a firm position as far as foreign policy is
concerned. i think also it's no secret to anybody that donald trump was very ill-prepared and unexperienced in terms of dealing with matters that a head of state needs to deal with, head of government. i think this is now coming to roost. i am worried. he must be feeling the pressure. there's a part of me that had been angry at donald trump for the things he said or the things he did. i am not moving into the realm of deep worry and concern that our country needs strong leadership now. our country needs to have confidence that we're going to be able to deal with a mr. putin who is plexing his muscles again on the front. that we can deal with these issues. if we have somebody in the oval office who is unstable, inept, inexperienced and also unethical, we really have rough waters ahead. i do think unfortunately, it's
going to get a bit more painful, worse before it gets better. i do hope that we're going to be able to get through this very, very difficult chapter of our history without incurring damage that will be long lasting. james clapper thought he was too unstable to pick up on a word you used. to possess the nuclear code. do you agree with that? >> when i hear what putin was saying about the nuclear capabilities that he has and then the president is tweeting about alec baldwin this morning, where is your sense of priorities and so i think a lot of americans are looking at what's happening with a sense of, this is surreal. i'm hoping that those in congress as well as the 30% of americans out there who still believe in what mr. trump is saying will look past that and say, are we really doing what we need to do as a country to protect ourselves and ensure
that children and grandchildren will remain safe and prosperous in the future. i have my serious, serious doubts. the longer this goes on, the worse it's going to get. >> i'm so grateful to you for spending the time with us. i hope you come back. we're lucky to have you here. thank you very much. >> thank you. when we come back, it seems like yesterday that jared kushner stood on top of the world. after the the break, his apparent fall unfolding as we speak broken into five distinct acts. what would our founding fathers
want us to do about this president? i'm tom steyer, and when those patriots wrote the constitution here in philadelphia, they had just repelled an invading foreign power. so they created the commander in chief to protect us from enemy attack. the justice department just indicted 13 russians for sabotaging our elections. an electronic attack on america that the chief investigator called "warfare". so what did this president do? nothing. and is he doing anything to prevent a future attack? the head of the fbi says no. this president has failed his most important responsibility- protecting our country. the first question is: why? what is in his and his family's business dealings with russia that he is so determined to hide,
panel is back. we're going to get to jared kushner's five-part tumble from grace. i want to get your thoughts mcmullin about what you just heard. >> look, i think director brennan is absolutely right when he says that we've got to strengthen our electoral systems, our voting systems at the state level. we need the federal government to do more obviously under president trump's leadership. he's right when he says -- >> can i stop you there? >> no, i'm coming to that. i know, i'm coming to that. >> this is like waiting for the pivot. >> i'm coming to that, i'm coming to that. but also he's right that we need to deter russia. we need all of those things. but to your point and my point, we need to get to the point here where we all understand that this president, i don't think, wants russia's interference to stop. i'm going to say it. he does not want it to stop. lastly, i also agree with director brennan that this is going to get a lot worse, meaning the president trump's
efforts to obscure, obstruct justice, that sort of thing. it's going to get worse before it gets better. i agree. >> paul, i was struck by his almost -- we've got to tell our viewers we have a nor'easter pounding the white house behind us. getting a lot of -- it's not us, it's a metaphor as peter alexander says. the cameras are weathering a storm of their own. but no one is in danger. well, someone might be in danger. no one operating those cameras. but i felt like director brennan was almost imploring the trump base to believe the institutions of law enforcement and the intelligence community when they tell them things like russian meddling is real. >> it is extraordinary. we have a president who is at war with his own department of justice, who is at war with his intelligence services, who does not trust the people who bring him intelligence about the security of the united states.
i can't even imagine a situation like this. again, bob mueller is focused on this. i think that wind might be hurricane hope hicks coming to the special counsel's office. >> what do you think? >> i want to do just a small, brief history lesson here because we all think that trump is being completely irresponsible in this regard. but i've got to say john brennan knows that in 2016, when john brennan first saw some evidence that some of it might be going on, some of the things we're all concerned about now, and got people in the obama administration to focus on it and got jeh johnson and jim comey and lisa monaco, went up there to capitol hill before donald trump was the president of the united states. before he was president-elect. they went up there and sat down with the leadership on the republican side, with paul ryan, with mitch mcconnell, with people who ostensibly previously were patriots and serious people and said to them what they knew at the time, which was in september of 2016 it said, our
democracy is under attack now. we have an election in six weeks. we have to do something on a bipartisan basis to let the country know, to harden our electoral systems. we have to act. we need you in a bipartisan way to step forward right now before the vote is taken. and paul ryan and mitch mcconnell, before donald trump was president, told them, go pound sand and they weren't going to get involved. this is a problem that relates to donald trump and his irresponsibility. but this is a problem that infects the republican party and infected the republican party before donald trump became its tichler head. >> power at all cost. that's what we're talking about here. a willingness to corrupt our most basic and sacred rights, the right to vote are at stake here. i'm personally feeling really grateful that we're finally talking about e-mails again. i mean, in 2016 everybody -- oh, my god, enough with the e-mails. but finally we're back to the e-mails because for all the chatter about bots and facebook,
i think that the path to donald trump and collusion lies in those hacked e-mails. and i think a lot of us are watching very, very closely to see what robert mueller does with the e-mails in this case because that's where we're going to get some real progress. >> all right. we have to sneak in a break. but after that, the five reasons jared kushner is on thin ice. why number five should scare him most. was not an option for us. i am taking the steps to own a home because i want my children to know it's all so that they can have a better life. oh my gosh. this is amazing. we're so much closer to home ownership. this is amazing. whilnothing comparesnary modeto the real thing.d... experience the command performance sales event for yourself, now through april 2.
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watching a play, at least that's how jim from axios sees it. and the whole ordeal breaks it down into five acts. first, act one. the knee capping. it all started when kushner lost his top secret security clearance, a critical blow to someone with so many responsibilities. act two, the humiliation. on tuesday the washington post reported foreign governments discussed ways to manipulate kushner. then act three, the godfather turns. kushner's mentor rupert murdoch owns "the wall street journal" and on wednesday their editorial board suggested the knives were out and that kushner should step down. act four is called the plot. that same day "the new york times" reported kushner's family businesses received loans after white house meetings. then act five, and this might be the most consequential when it comes to kushner's job security. torture trump. the times reporting trump is frustrated with kushner who he now sees is a liability. the panel is back. you have some theories about the president's true, true, true feelings about jared kushner.
>> i watched him in that press conference last week when he came out and said all the things, nice things about jared and then said i'm going to leave it up to kelly whether or not he's going to get the security clearance. and many people especially on cable television said trump is trying to put his thumb on the scales. he's trying to help jared. he's trying to tell kelly what he wants him to do and i looked at it and said, no, he's not, he's cutting him loose right now. kelly has this. he already knew what kelly was going to do. he was trying to soften the blow a little bit. and everybody i've talked to since then who is close to the trump family and to the kushner family all saw it the same way. i think donald trump sees the dimensions of kushner's problems which are not about not just merely on all these things. there are legal problems. there's a lot of discussion about new york bank regulators, about eric snyderman, about the fbi, separate from mueller about mueller, he is an enormous legal jeopardy at this point. you know, you said this on the show yesterday, 666 fifth avenue, people who looked at that building and the $1.2 billion loan those guys have coming up due less than a
year now, people say that is going to be the thing that brings down jared kushner, brings down charles kushner, that the stuff that they're doing in this -- the story about qatar today, about the notion that the father was meeting with the qatari finance minister while trump was in office, trying to get the qatar i finance minister to come and save that building, a few weeks later when qatar said no, you have sanctions, not sanctions, of a block wade. >> the blockade. >> blockade against qataris. you are in some trouble and there is now reporting that the qataris want to come over and start talking about how kushner was part of conspiring against them. you are in the realm of some of the dirtiest, darkest aspects of international malfeasance. the man is in significantly legal peril from a bunch of different legal angles. donald trump for all his flaws, he knows what legal peril is and he's looking at his son-in-law
and saying, my daughter could find somebody else maybe if it came to it. >> but it was also predictable. we could have had this conversation at the start of the trump administration. this was a train wreck waiting to happen. this is a guy who has a bunch of international businesses. there are millions of dollars in debt. at the same time that he's running these businesses -- yeah, he's running around on behalf of the government of the united states, entirely predictable. >> has not done the blind trust route. has not done the things we expect of serious money people when they come into government. he is running the business and lawyers all say he is not discussing the business. but his father is still running the business and he has his personal wealth tied up in the business. it is a dangerous situation. >> and now of course we have ivanka trump, her involvement in the financing for the vancouver project involving a very wealthy malaysian citizen is subject of a probe by the fbi. so i think you're seeing the
pair of them in enormous peril. and everyone close to donald trump in fact is in big trouble. hope hicks who is often described as a surrogate daughter, she's facing huge mountains of legal bills. >> that is a good point. hope hs is described as a surrogate daughter. she's facing mountains of problems. >> there is reporting of politico that suggests just that that the president put her in a lot of jeopardy by speaking about these things. >> that's the thing of fundamental carelessness of this administration. >> that's the thing the complete inability to protect these people. >> every defense lawyer tells their client, shut the heck up. does not matter who you are talking to. that person could be made to tell robert mueller everything you told her.
we can be sure that at some point, miss hicks, will receive the subpoena to the grand jury. >> she pertinespent two days of mueller's investigation already. >> definitely, and the scary thing for donald trump, this is a pyramid prosecution, mueller is working his way to the top. if we are looking at people like hope hicks and jared kushner, that's the next level. >> can you bring this back to the question you and i talked about all the time where are the bleeping republican? >> the republicans are sticking with the republican base. right now the president has 85% approval within the party. why is it so high? well, it is high because of fox news feeds them a bill of good everyday. if you ever watch "hannity," i tune in once a week. >> it is like a work out, right?
>> it used to be and i noticed the change in shift a week ago. it used to be that you tune in and there would be a conspiracy theory and you would try to follow it and it would make sense for a little while. the facts would hold together but you notice there is this piece of clear common sense missing and then there is this fact and it unravels. now, it is a slew of unrelated conspiracy thought that don't connect. if you try to connect them, it is exhausting and it is depressing. that's what they give a lasting of one thing. if you a conservative, you are a republican out in america some where, you are getting that from fox news and a lot of them only watch fox news, i used to be in that camp frankly. >> me too. >> they don't hear from their leaders. their leaders are unwilling to stand up and take a political risk, all of that is nonsense,
we have a serious problem and the president is dangerous. they hear everything is okay and it is all the dems. >> let me ask you a question -- >> i cannot remember last night or the night before. of all these news happening and you turn on "hannity," i am talking of hillary clinton's e-mails. >> i want to ask you a question. she could not say -- when he said the time of trump emboldens of racism. why can people call out what is so plain for everyone to see whether he is or not a racist in his heart and he says racist things and racist things in this country are embolden. >> i cannot speak to that --
>> why cannot they say that? russia is getting away with murder because donald trump wants it to. >> we are watching over a decade or more of the moral core of the republican party has been hollowed out. donald trump is not the cause of that. the republican party was a broken thing. we know ats the gubernatorial level. as a national governing party, they have been hollowed out and waiting to be taken over. donald trump would not have been able to take over, i don't know why someone like kanye rice and pit mcconnell as i mentioned earlier did not do their civic or patriotic d patriotic duties. a pop --
we are back. >> a moment of integrity, the constitutional of crisis happens if the republicans in congress takes this in tactictactics. at some point, they're going to get a report from robert mueller and we'll wait to act. tie tonight, richard reports from south korea investigates on what role russia may have played with
"on assignment" with richard engel. that does it for us, i am nicole wallace, i will see you back here on monday at # p.4:00 p.m. unglued, let's play "hardball." >> good evening, i am chris matthew. the president reportedly angry and isolated and depressed and he's lashing out in ways that has big repercussions. the president became "unglued." hope hicks' testimony to lawmakers investigating russia
interference of the 2016 election and his chief of staff and son-in-law. >> trump was angry and gutting for a fight and he chose a trade war. that decision announced did not review by the state or taken his staffs by surprise and led the stock market dropped by hundreds of points. his chief of staff, john kelly, and his own family is locked in a battle right now. >> kelly backer says the chief of staff's standing remains tenuous. kushner himself over policy and personnel and white house structure. the president's son, donald trump jr. and eric were especially angry and felt that by not protecting kushner, kelly